A statue of George Floyd that had been defaced in Brooklyn has been cleaned and is on its way to Union Square in Manhattan.
On the Juneteenth holiday, the artwork was unveiled in a Flatbush Avenue location. It was vandalized with black paint and a white nationalist group's logo five days later, on June 24.
Local neighbors and one of Floyd's brothers gathered around the statue this week to bid farewell ahead of its long-planned journey to Union Square as part of an exhibition in September, as members of the group that installed it diligently cleaned it.
“I heard about the vandalism on the news. I was ecstatic when I learned that Flatbush had shut it down. “They really stood by us, looking for the statue, looking for my brother's spirit,” Terrence Floyd said at the gathering. ”You try to stop us, but you can't stop us,” he told news reporters. And we're going to keep going, with love.”
People spent hours wiping off the paint with toothbrushes and their hands, according to Andrew Cohen of Confront Art, the group behind the statue.
"The only method that worked was putting in a lot of elbow grease," he explained.
The statue will be returned to a studio on Monday for additional cleaning.
There have been no arrests as a result of the vandalism.